Our Story

Feature our story


Whoever you are, wherever you came from, you’re here because you’re different. You take time in what you do and you take pride in the difference you make. If you’re here, then you’ve probably taken a risk and boldly charged ahead into something new at some point in your life.

We know the feeling.

Our story is a lot like yours. That’s why we created Black Buffalo. Our journey with smokeless tobacco began as part of growing up in the Midwest. Tobacco dip was taboo to some, but we didn’t care. We dug it. Still do. And so do nearly 10 million other Americans.

When our search for truly satisfying chewing tobacco alternatives came up empty, we realized we had the chance to do something that could make a whole lot of difference. So we charged ahead into something new: creating a tobacco alternative that delivered on all the best elements of Big Tobacco's products. The premium look and feel, the pack, the taste and, most importantly, the nicotine — just without the actual tobacco. We’re proud to say we succeeded. This is our story.


This is our story

Icon leaves gold Everything you love about traditional products,
nothing you don't

If you’re like us, you don’t necessarily love everything about smokeless tobacco. But it sure as hell is an enjoyable ritual. After years of dipping, we started looking for an all natural chewing tobacco substitute that was just as good as what we grew up on. Something that cut out the actual tobacco but still offered the same satisfaction, including the nicotine.

We looked high and low, giving an honest shot to tobacco alternatives from across the U.S. and even a few from overseas. You name it, we tried it, from coffee grounds to tea leaves to alfalfa to sea sponge. Nothing delivered the same satisfaction or high quality we were looking for. Probably because not one of the companies making these chewing tobacco substitute products gave a damn about respecting the time and tradition that goes into a tin of smokeless tobacco.

But like you, we’re different. When we discovered no one else was going to create a badass chew alternative with nicotine, we realized we’d have to do it ourselves.

We charged ahead and haven’t looked back since.

Born in the Midwest
Raised in the South

If there’s anything the Southland got right, it’s whiskey, music and tobacco. That’s our jam. The minute we decided to create a chew alternative, we knew we had to pack our bags and head south.

Though Black Buffalo is based in Chicago, our journey to create the world's finest chewing tobacco substitute started on Tobacco Road in North Carolina. If we were going to learn how to make a dip just like the real thing, this was the place to do it. We spent years experimenting with different green leaves. We worked with growers in their fields and adapted time-honored techniques to replicate the look, feel and taste of aged tobacco.

We had more false starts than we care to count. A lot of nights holed up in cheap motels. The Carolina sun is hotter than the Midwest summers we were used to. But we kept at it. When we finally cracked the code, a 40-year tobacco farmer said if we hadn’t told him, “he never would’ve known our leaves weren’t tobacco.”

Having a perfect leaf is one thing, but transforming that leaf into a tin of long cut or pouches is a whole different ballgame.

From North Carolina, we headed to Tennessee, landing ourselves in the backyard of Big Tobacco. As controversial as Big Tobacco can be, they know how to make a damn good product that consumers are fiercely loyal to. We knew if we were going to make a smokeless alternative that could truly stand up to the tobacco dip the big boys offered, we’d need to honor the way they did things.

That’s a lot tougher than it sounds.

Big Tobacco certainly wasn’t going to help us out. And the process of turning tobacco leaves into a tin of long cut or pouches is as sacred as the Coca-Cola recipe — nobody knows the whole thing. Just like our hunt for the perfect leaf, we weren’t going to let what we didn’t know stand in our way. We knocked on every door and talked to anyone who would take our call. More than a few told us it couldn’t be done. They were wrong. We’re grateful to those who supported us and believed in our mission. They helped us get to where we are today.

After years of non-stop hustle, we managed to assemble a team that puts our leaves through the same production process Big Tobacco uses. That process doesn’t happen overnight. It takes months to create each tin of Black Buffalo. The result is a product that satisfies just like those Big Tobacco makes.

To be sure our long cut and pouches tobacco alternatives deliver the same great taste, we spent months working with a leading flavor house that specializes in smokeless tobacco to perfect our recipes. It sure isn’t the easiest or cheapest way to make a product. That’s how we’re able to deliver such a satisfying dip in our favorite flavors like wintergreen long cut. All the best parts of smokeless, just without the actual tobacco.

Perfection takes time, so we took it. Change takes risks, so we took them. Finally, a quality tobacco alternative that can be enjoyed without compromise. One with a story as bold as your own. Let’s charge ahead together into something different.